Why Did I Choose Edge Hill?

I guess you’re wondering why I chose to study at Edge Hill above anywhere else? No? Well I’m going to tell you anyway because I love my uni and I want you to know exactly why I think it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t, but here are a few of my reasons for choosing Edge Hill.

First Impressions

Edge Hill impressed me from day one. At the open day, not only was there free food (yass!) but the architecture really was amazing and the place struck me as a beautiful place to live and study. When I chatted to the tutors who lead my course, they were so enthusiastic and gave me lots of advice as to what I could do with my degree. They even continued this enthusiasm when I started uni.

All the Awards

Of course awards are a good indicator as to whether a university is worth applying to and Edge Hill has a lot of them! They’ve won awards for graduate employment (one of the top in the country with 95% employment rate in 2013/14), for Best Accommodation in the country (National Student Housing Survey Awards 2016), for having a safe campus, in fact they were the safest in the region in 2015, and they even won University of the Year in 2014/15.

The Area

A big factor in my choosing Edge Hill was the area. It wasn’t too far from home but far enough for me to get my independence. Ormskirk proved to be just lively enough but not as overwhelming as a big city, the perfect mix for someone coming from a small town. Ormskirk is also such a lovely town, they have so many beautiful little cafes and a lot of pretty natural areas that are great to visit in nice weather. Besides all that I’ve really started to think of Ormskirk as my home and I’ll be returning there frequently, even after I graduate!

Scholarships

Whilst applying to university and during your time of study there are a range of scholarships available to students. Some scholarships you will be automatically entered into depending on things such as your academic results and others you can apply for.

You can use the eligibility calculator to answer a few short questions to find out which scholarship may be suitable for you

Scholarships Calculator

 

For prospective undergraduate students there are many scholarships available, the first being an excellence scholarship. An excellence scholarship can offer up to £2000 and is available to students who show excellence in disciplines beyond the curriculum in areas such as the creative arts, IT, performing arts and volunteering and citizenship work although there can be other examples. Anyone can apply for this scholarship as long as you are applying to Edge Hill and are holding a firm offer.

The next scholarship available to students is the sports scholarship and this offers up to £1000 and other benefits depending on the level for which you may qualify. The sports scholarship has three tiers and consists of bronze, silver and gold. The bronze scholarship requires you to make a significant contribution to sport at Edge Hill and contribute to community sport in coaching, officiating, administration or sports development. If you are awarded a bronze scholarship you currently receive free annual Edge Hill Sport and Team Edge Hill membership as well as free access to the gym and a free sports scholarship hoodie. To be eligible for the silver level of scholarship you must have represented either regional or county at junior or senior level in the last 12 months, be a current professional club first team or academy player, have a sports administration at national or regional level or be coaching or officiating at a regional level. If you receive this level of scholarship you will receive the same benefits as bronze but additionally you will receive up to £500 towards training and expenses, free personal training and access to strength and conditioning sessions as well as nutritional advice. Finally the gold level of scholarship requires applicants to have international or national representation at junior or senior level within the last 12 months, be ranked in the top 10 nationally, be an athlete on a recognised National Governing Body or be coaching or officiating at a national level. As a result of this people who receive the scholarship at this level will receive all of the aforementioned benefits but the financial part of the award increases to up to £1000, and they will also have access to a sports science support package which is tailored to their personal needs. Who gets the awards and at what level is decided by a panel.

Finally there are the academic scholarships. The university offers the high achievers scholarship and the Liverpool scholarship both of which offer benefits based on academic excellence. The high achievers scholarship is available to students who achieve 144 or more UCAS points from A-Level or equivalent BTEC qualifications, and who meet the other criteria which can be found on the website. The scholarship offers £1000 paid in two instalments and you will automatically be entered for this scholarship based on your results. The Liverpool scholarship differs slightly in that it is for a person who is domiciled in the city of Liverpool and who receives the highest UCAS tariff score in one sitting (there are some additional criteria). The scholarship offers up to £3000 and can be received by one student or shared if multiple students receive the same UCAS tariff score. Again this is a scholarship that does not have to be applied for and successful students will be contacted via letter during their first semester.

An understanding of scholarships can allow you decide which ones are most appropriate and your eligibility to apply. It can also give you an extra push of motivation knowing that if you excel at A-Level or are particularly talented in your hobby or an activity you may get that extra commendation for it when you arrive at university. More information about the scholarships at Edge Hill can be found here:

Scholarships

 

 

Why did I choose Edge Hill?

As the deadline for making your firm and insurance choices fast approaches, some of you may still be feeling unsure about where is the right place for you. After all – it is a big decision. This is the place you’ll be spending 3+ years of your life, potentially away from home, studying and needing support. It’s not easy.

If you received your last decision before… then your reply date will be…

  • 31st March 2017, reply by 4th May 2017
  • 5th May 2017, reply by 8th June 2017
  • 8th June 2017, reply by 22nd June 2017
  • 13th July 2017, reply by 20th July 2017

So how did I know I was making the right choice? Why did I pick Edge Hill?

  1. I made sure the course was right for me. Aside from the fact that Edge Hill is one of the best universities for teacher training, it is also one of the only universities in the country that gives you the opportunity to pick both a major and a minor subject. Despite teaching all subjects in primary schools, I wanted to be able to specialise, which Edge Hill offered me.
  2. I wanted to be able to travel home if I needed to. My biggest travel tip is splitting journeys up to see if they cost less. With a rail card, a return ticket to Ormskirk from my home town is £27, but if I split each leg of the journey up and book in advance, it costs me £20.This isn’t a massive difference, but those extra few pounds really add up. Make sure to check how much it costs to travel to and from your university choices. Despite each university that I applied to being the same distance away from home, some journeys cost upwards of £120. These were costs that I simply wouldn’t be able to afford if I needed to travel home in an emergency.
  3. I wanted a campus based university, where I could live on site. Having been quite ill throughout my GCSE and A Level years, I wanted to attend a university where I could quickly walk to my lectures, even if I wasn’t feeling 100% well. Being on campus and not having to cross busy roads when I felt unwell was a massive weight off my mind, and the community feel that came from living in halls really made me feel comfortable.
  4. I fell in love the minute I walked on campus. I’m a big advocate for going to see the universities you’re considering attending. From the very first Open Day, there was just a feeling in my gut that there was nowhere else I wanted to study. I strongly advise, if you haven’t been to visit the university yet, booking onto one of our monthly tours or attending an Applicant Visit Day. I promise you won’t regret it.

Offers, Interviews and UCAS

Hey everyone!

We’re coming up to the end of January now (is it just me who thinks 2017 is already going crazily fast?) which means we’re just past the UCAS application deadline day.

I remember how stressful it was waiting for my university offers, some of you may be lucky enough to have been made offers already, others of you will be nervously waiting and checking UCAS every five minutes.

Today I’m just going to be giving a few tips on choosing your firm and insurance university, advice on what to do if the course you’re applying for requires an interview or audition and hopefully put your mind at ease!

When the universities you apply for offer you a place first of all congratulations! It’s one of the major steps towards an amazing experience. Once all your universities have given you a decision then you have a couple of months to decide on your firm and insurance choices.

What is a Firm Choice?
This is your first choice university. If you are lucky enough to have an unconditional offer and make that university your first choice then that’s where you will be starting to study in September! If the offer is conditional then the place is yours as long as you meet the offer conditions – whether this is a particular A Level/BTEC grade or a successful interview.

What is an Insurance Choice?
An insurance choice is a back up, just in case you don’t meet the conditions of your firm choice uni. Usually that means your insurance choice requires less UCAS points than your firm choice. It’s important to choose two universities that you would like to attend, as you’ll have to decline all other offers.

If you’re unsure about how to narrow down universities then I would definitely recommend going to a few of the Open Days – they are just as much for students holding offers as they are for students looking to apply.

What if my course has an interview/audition?
If a uni offers you an interview or audition that means they like what they’ve seen of you so far, they just want to make sure you’re suited for the course and the uni. The best piece of advice is to not to think of this as a test, nobody wants you to fail, it’s just a chance to show what you can do!

The best way to put your mind at ease about an interview is to be prepared. Double check where you are supposed to be and when, arrive early (that alone sets a good impression) and have a few mock interviews with friends/family/teachers. The more practice you have, the less daunting the interview process will be.

If you have an interview or audition coming up then you can find some more tips and hints here.

Good luck with making your choices! I’m sure this will just be the first step towards your university adventure.

Quote for the day:  ‘By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.’ A Gentleman in Moscow –Amor Towles.

Until next time!

-Becki 🙂

 

Making my final UCAS choices

Anyone applying for university this year has some quick thinking to do! I can’t tell you what is best for you individually, but I can tell you about my experiences and what was best for me, and my thoughts looking back two years later…

One thing that helped me massively when making my decision was attending different university open days. Luckily, my dad was able to either drive or accompany me on the train for a number of them. Being able to physically experience the university and the surrounding area was a huge aid in my decision making process. I visited both campus and city universities, and honestly most of the city uni’s weren’t for me. Living just outside of London for most of my life, and taking frequent excursions into the capital, had got me used to the bustle of the city. But as a place for me to study in a university setting, the cities I visited weren’t for me, and I would never have known that if I didn’t visit them personally.

Then again, some of the campus uni’s felt too secluded. Edge Hill felt like great middle ground. Despite being a campus university, it is only around 10 minutes from Ormskirk town centre (and although Ormskirk is small, it has good character) and only 30 minutes on the train from Liverpool – a city I’ve also come to love. As soon as my open day at Edge Hill was over, it already felt a tiny bit like home – I knew it had earned a place as either my firm or insurance choice.

In the end, I chose Edge Hill University as my firm, and a uni with much lower entry criteria as my insurance. Now, I don’t regret my firm choice for a second, as Edge Hill is a fantastic uni and I know I’ve already grown as a person just from my year and a half studying here. However, I do regret my insurance choice. I should’ve aimed a little higher and been more confident in myself to achieve the grades I had set out to acquire. After all, if I did end up falling below my expectations, I could’ve always looked at Clearing.
Like I said earlier, I can’t know which decision is right for you. Ultimately all I can do is wish you luck, and hope that you found some of my experiences helpful and worth reading. So with that in mind… Good luck!

The Life of a Performing Arts Student!

Hello all, hope you had a wonderful and Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those who celebrate other or no other festivals. As it nears the end of December and 2016, I am moving into Semester 2 of my BA (Hons) Performing Arts course at the University, and I can’t wait to be back.

If you’re looking at Performing Arts courses as a way of extending your skills and abilities, creating and performing, studying the theory behind performance or even writing your own scripts, the courses that Edge Hill offer are perfect for you! Below I have included a list of the courses which are hyperlinked so that you can check out the ones you are interested in;

As you can see there’s a course for every type of performer and creative. As I like to perform and devise performances as well as expand my skill set as a performer, I chose to enrol on the Performing Arts course.

This is the beautiful Arts Centre- where I have my lessons!

One of the best things about the Performing Arts course is the range of modules it covers. I did the BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts at my college, which I loved, however, I did not expect to cover such a big range of skills and genres of performance as I have done and will continue to do for the next 5 months. So, here is an overview of my Performing Arts life over the past 4 months!

Fresher’s Tasks and Introductions

In the very first week of the course, I didn’t know my way around so much and I didn’t know many people. However, the staff ensured that they gave me the information I needed to get more used to life at Uni and the course itself. There were a few talks carried out in the Arts Centre’s main theatre – the Rose Theatre – that gave me all the information I needed to know about the course heading into it and the University and it’s resources itself.

The Rose Theatre

In my first lesson, I was introduced to my main lecturer and form tutor- Barnaby King. The lesson was quite informal, which allowed everyone to feel more at ease than we did before entering it. There are 12 people in my class, including me, and it was nice to be able to finally meet everyone and get to know each other. Everyone came from such different backgrounds which was interesting to discover, and although we were quiet to begin with, being in a class with such lovely people is amazing and we all became friends quickly! Barnaby set us a small task based on our journey to the University to ease us into the course, which was great as it was our first opportunity to work with and around the people that we are going to be working with for the next three years of our educational careers.

The Introduction to Performance Module

As performers, it’s always great to be up on our feet and creating- I know that personally, when I enter a performance space, I’m itching to get up and produce something! However, as a performer it’s also important to know where performance came from and what performance itself is. This is where this module comes in. I have this module on Monday afternoons, and I’ll either attend a lecture or a workshop where we can discuss ideas surrounding the course and anything that we might not have completely got to grips with yet- one of the best things about these workshops is the level of support it offers you in your studies! The idea of sitting in a lecture might put performers such as yourselves off, however, Barnaby and the other lecturers ensure that it’s not just you sat listening bored! We often listen to songs related to ideas discussed in the lectures and watch videos from practitioners and researchers that are a nice change from powerpoints. In my classes this year we’ve even mentioned Hamilton the Musical and watched something about the background of the musical, so don’t let the word ‘lecture’ put you off! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Performance Skills Workshop

This module was one of the two optional modules I had to choose from- the other module was Introduction to Technical Theatre. On Mondays I also attend a lesson for this unit. This unit is all about developing your skills as a performer, and so far I have tried my hands at all sorts of things from mask work to juggling in workshops.

Maskwork is something fun you might explore in this class!

For this lesson we have a teacher called Olly Crick, who always keeps lessons lively and fun whilst teaching you so much about different performance genres. For the past 4 months, Olly has run workshops with us to show us what techniques and genres there are within theatre and performance, and as we progress into the second semester we get to narrow what we are studying to particular techniques we want to pursue further- which is great if you really want to have time to master a technique or begin your path to mastering it! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Physical Theatres

If you studied Performing Arts at college or are just a regular theatre goer, you’ve probably come across Physical Theatres of the likes of DV8 or Frantic Assembly, just to name a couple of companies. For the last 4 months I have been having lessons for this module on a Wednesday morning; something that might sound daunting, as Physical Theatre in the morning can be a very exhausting task. But the best thing about these lessons is that Barnaby did a small yoga warm up before each lesson he led, which warmed the body and mind up perfectly and also helped bring our awareness of what was occurring in lessons and of each other as performers to a level that aided us in performance and devising. At the end of the unit, we had devised a half hour performance on love, hate and the situation in America with Donald Trump, which we performed to an audience of our friends and which was followed by a Viva Voce- a spoken assessment. The great thing about Vivas is that it’s like having a chat with your teachers about something your passionate about (Performing and your performance!) but it helps with your grade! If the idea of being assessed on speaking worries you, don’t let it! It’s so much less nerving when you’re in the room just speaking. This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

Visual Theatres

Visual theatres is something I had never studied before, so this was an interesting module for me! If I had to summarise what this genre is and what I studied in this module, I would summarise it using these three techniques; Object Manipulation, Puppetry and Mask Work. Throughout the module we were given the opportunity to explore the use of these techniques and even create our own 3ft puppets and masks, which was frustrating at times but definitely worth it once we got to put them to use in our final performance! For this module, there is another performance, which we again showed to friends and our assessors, and a small written piece. As someone who loves Arts and Crafts, this module was a challenge but one that I welcomed with open arms! This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

So that’s what I’ve spent my time at Edge Hill doing so far! You might have a different experience with what you cover in classes and especially if you choose a different first year optional module to me, but I hope this has given you a better idea of what Edge Hill’s Performing Arts course is like and I hope you make the choice to audition over the coming months! In my second semester, I will be studying the Devising Performance and Multimedia Performance modules in the replacement of the two semester-long modules I’ve done so far, which I can’t wait to explore. In the second and third year of the course, you have a lot more optional modules, from things like Popular Musicals to Prosthetic Makeup. This course is so different to the one I was on at college in all the right ways- I’ve always wanted to stretch myself as a performer and learn new skills, and with the aid of the teachers on the course this has proven to be an accessible goal!

If you have any questions, I’m very happy to answer them, just pop them in the comments!

I hope you have a great end to 2016 🙂

Here is the link to the Arts Centre’s page for more info on the theatres themselves and the shows that the Uni organise for staff, students and the people of Ormskirk;

The Arts Centre

January calls… And so does the UCAS deadline!

Hello all!

I hope you’re all enjoying festivities this season and being with your family and friends.

I know that at this point last year, I was eager to forget completely about UCAS just for Christmas, however, it’s important you keep the UCAS deadline in mind so you don’t get caught out! The deadline is Sunday 15th January at 6pm- which seems far away, I mean it’s a month away right? But it will sneak up on you over the holidays!

So, I thought I’d compile a bit of list of things you need to ensure you’ve done and tips that you can check off and breeze your way through the New Year instead of overly stressing;

  • Choices, choices, choices- The most important thing about applying through UCAS is the choices of Universities you make! You get up to five choices, so make them count! Just bare in mind that these choices will effect your education for the next few years, and even though there are things such as UCAS Clearing to fall back on after results day, it’s a lot more stress to rely on that, so make your choices wisely! I couldn’t be happier with my choices, and I couldn’t be much happier with where I’ve ended up!
  • References- make sure you have some references! I used my form tutor as a reference, just make sure to ask whoever you want as a reference if they’re happy to do it first and get the details they’re happy to share with UCAS.
  • The dreaded personal statement; it’s like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I’ve known people who had their first draft written before you could even apply, then I’ve known people (for example, me…) who did hundreds of drafts and didn’t get the finished product until close to the deadline. So if you haven’t quite cracked it yet, don’t worry! Lots of students are usually in the same place as you. One thing I did to make sure that I was writing in the right way about myself so that the Universities I applied to would be interested in me was to show my form tutor some of the drafts and ask her opinion. If you are able to do that, I’d definitely recommend it. If your form tutor is unable to do this, another person you could ask for opinions from would be friends or family that are at or have been at University and have experienced it first hand. It’s important that the University gets a sense of who you are from this, so include lots of things such as your hobbies and pastimes, work experience, qualities as a student and why you think you’d be a good <enter course title here> student!
  • If you’re wanting to study a course and you have extra qualifications outside of your schools, include them on your application! As a Performing Arts student I included my Trinity Guildhall Drama exam grades, my guitar and dance examinations. Universities are looking for what would make you a good student, so these usually help! Don’t worry if you don’t have these though- you still have your GCSEs and A Levels!
  • Ensure that you’ve completed each section of your application- there’s a lot of stuff you have to fill out so go back over it when you’re done to make sure you haven’t missed anything or said you’d come back to it when you had the information and forgot!

I hope that list has helped ease the weight off your shoulders in some way, I remember the huge stress UCAS put on me! Once you’ve made your application, as long as you keep up with interviews and auditions and applying for things such as Student Finance, it gets less stressful, trust me 🙂

Now keep UCAS in mind, but go enjoy Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful time and enjoy your holidays.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Rhiannon 🙂

What’s the Big Deal about Open Days?

Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all having a good week.

I am writing to you from behind a wall of books that I need to read so today’s post will probably be a short one, but I hope that it helps nonetheless!

If you’re applying to uni (or even if you’ve already sent off your application) then you’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about Open Days.

Your tutors have probably recommended that you attend as many as possible, you might have friends who have told you about an Open Day they went too, you may even be waiting to attend one yourself.

Either way a question a lot of people have is ‘what’s the point in an Open Day?’

It’s a valid question, and one that I had when I was applying to university. So today I’m going to give you a few tips on what I have learnt over the past couple of years, and hopefully impart some wisdom to you about what you can get from an Open Day.

Why should I go to an Open Day?
Applying to uni can be a lot of pressure. You’ve probably hunted through a stack of prospectuses trying to find the right uni for you. Even if you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices I would highly suggest visiting each uni! A prospectus gives a good overview of a university and its courses but nothing is better than visiting the uni and talking to students and tutors of your course. If you have any questions this is the quickest way to find the answer, and sometimes just getting the feel of the uni will help you decide if it’s the place for you or not.

What if I can’t go to an Open Day?
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get to an Open Day, whether that’s because of college, work or distance. If you can’t get to an Open Day I would suggest getting in touch with the university to talk about the course you want to study, you can find information about how to contact Edge Hill here. They will answer any course specific enquiries or general enquiries about student life and the facilities at Edge Hill. Check out Edge Hill University’s Facebook as well as they upload photos and videos of the campus – the next best thing if you are unable to visit yourself.

I hope you all go to a few Open Days this year, even if you have already sent off your UCAS application. As soon as I attended the Edge Hill Open Day I knew this was the place where I wanted to study for the next three years, and I am loving every second!

Quote for the day: “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” – Roy Disney

Have another amazing week!

Until next time.

-Becki 🙂

Big Decisions!

Lately I have been able to speak to an A-Level student who still is unsure of what she wants to do at University, but she knows she wants to go! So I have a feeling that if she feels like that then many of you will too! So I thought I’d write a blog informing you of what you can do if you feel like this!

So don’t feel lost, the worst case scenario is you can take a year out! These are not always bad options as you can get a job and save up while deciding what course you want to do in the meantime! So how to decide what to do….

You can speak to student guidance at your sixth form or college who will be more than happy to help you narrow down your choices based on your favourite topics and what you enjoy etc. A great way to do this is by reading University prospectuses, Edge Hill’s prospectus can be ordered here. Flicking through a prospectus enables you to read all about the courses and what you need to get onto the course, something you need to bear in mind while choosing. This is important as you need to know that your choice is realistic, rather than setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even started i.e. not having the required subjects at A-Level!

You have until January until the UCAS deadline occurs, so you still have loads of time to decide, don’t panic!If you need anymore help please comment below and I will try to help you out as best as I can!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Personal Statements!

Hey everyone!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week. Today I’m going to talk to you about Personal Statements, mainly what they are, why you need to write one and some tips on writing a Statement that will ultimately make you stand out from the crowd.

As it’s coming towards the end of October now a lot of you who are looking to come to university next September have probably already started your UCAS application. If you’ve already started writing your Personal Statement too then that’s great! But it can be a bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start.

What is a Personal Statement?
The clue is in the name, it’s a quick way of introducing yourself to the universities you are applying to. It’s there to support your UCAS application and show a university your unique qualities and goals, and why they should choose you over a student with the same predicted grades.

Why write a Personal Statement?
A lot of people think that Grades and References alone are enough to get them into the university of their choice, but a Personal Statement is a vital part of the process. Especially for courses that do not hold interviews, your Statement is the only way in which university staff can get to know you as an individual, what drives you and your commitment to the course.

Personal Statements can be scary when you’re first approached with the idea, but the hardest thing is to start. Once you have something down on paper it’s easier for you to figure out what to write, what to edit or what might not need to be included.

Here are a few tips on writing Personal Statements that might help you get past that writer’s block, or at least put your mind at ease:

1. Don’t be scared to be yourself– Although it can be a bit intimidating writing about yourself, a Personal Statement is not the place to be overly modest about your achievements or hide your individuality. Show pride and a little bit of personality and it will go a long way.

2. Don’t just focus on Academics – As important as your studies are, the Personal Statement is the place were you can talk about hobbies you have outside of your education, whether that’s playing for a sports team or your love gardening. Just make sure to link them to any skills/qualities that they have developed – transferable skills are key here!

3. Make sure to draft and redraft! Although you may want to just get everything down on paper and send it off as soon as possible it’s important to make sure you read over your Statement so you can be confident when you send off your application. Make sure to check for spelling and grammar errors and that everything written is clear and concise (you don’t have an awful lot of space.)

If you’re ever unsure about your personal statement UCAS has a great advice page which you can find here.

Your school/college tutors are always there to ask for advice, and don’t underestimate family and friends (especially if you have a friend/sibling that goes to university.)

Good luck with your Personal Statements! I hoped this helped a little, feel free to ask if you have any questions/concerns.

Quote for the day: “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Have another great week.

Until next time!

-Rebecca 🙂